Playing long balls to strikers was a plan: East Bengal coach Eelco Schattorie
Kolkata, March 10 East Bengal coach Eelco Schattorie said playing long balls to his two talismanic Nigerian strikers upfront was a planned effort that succeeded in the AFC Cup Group F match against Hong Kong Kitchee here on Tuesday. It was a long ball that got the red and gold brigade their equaliser as Dudu Omagbemi's flick-on header found his countryman Ranti Martins with acres of space before him. Ranti then took his time to square up the goal-keeper before stabbing it in.
"We noticed they were having problems with the long balls, so we decided to feed such balls to our strikers up front. Sometimes you just have to change your style of play according to the weaknesses of your opponents. I am extremely delighted it paid off," the Dutchman said at the post-match media conference.
Schattorie said the midfield was not playing well in the last few matches.
"The midfield wasn't up to the mark today. I may be blamed to for not being able to successfully pass on the information on the field of play, due to my ill health."
Asked why Robert Lalthlamuana was given captaincy, when he had already declared Deepak Mandal would lead the side on Tuesday, Schattorie said: "It was a decision taken by the club."
Kitchee FC head coach Jose Francisco Molina rued the missed chances and said he was not impressed with the scoreline.
"We wasted a couple of chances, and hence the 1-1 result."
"East Bengal played quite well, but overall not impressed with the result, we could have played better," he said.